Several NBA teams in the lottery ended up with picks they didn’t expect. For some, that unexpected pick was fantastic, but for others, not so much.
After looking over the teams in the NBA lottery and where their picks landed, I believe two teams should trade their picks. Those two teams are the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks.
For the Lakers, getting the fourth pick in the draft was fantastic. Had they got the pick they were supposed to get, they would have been picking 11th. Going from 11th to fourth is a huge jump. It’s a jump that will greatly benefit the Lakers this offseason.
For the Atlanta Hawks, the balls didn’t bounce in their favor. They were supposed to receive the fifth overall pick, but ended up with the eighth. However, they did pick up a second first-round pick from the Mavericks, which also has them selecting 10th.
Let me break down why I believe these two teams should trade their picks in the first-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Los Angeles Lakers
Again, going from 11th to fourth is a huge jump. That’s a big win for the Lakers, a win they really needed after last season. The reason I believe the Lakers should trade this pick, is because it would allow them to get LeBron James the help he needs in order to compete for a championship.
The most common name the Lakers have been linked to is Anthony Davis. If I were the New Orleans Pelicans, I’d be intrigued by the Lakers having the fourth overall pick. We already know the Lakers are willing to give up a lot, but the fourth pick would make their offer even that much sweeter.
If the Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Lakers, I believe it would benefit both sides. The Lakers are a team trying to compete now. LeBron James needs a star player to help him compete, not another young guy who will take time to develop into a star. If the Lakers kept their pick, they’d be getting a young guy who needs time to develop. If they trade that pick as part of the package for Anthony Davis, they’d be giving LeBron what he needs to compete for a title.
On the other side, the Pelicans would be getting rid of their star player, but they’d be fully prepared for a rebuild. We already know they’re selecting Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick. If they had the No. 4 overall pick in addition to that, it would allow them to give Zion another potential star to grow and develop with.
This move makes too much sense in my opinion, and I believe this move will be done between the two sides before draft day.
The Atlanta Hawks weren’t exactly thrilled with getting the eighth and 10th overall picks. The good news is that they’ve got two lottery selections. Looking at the teams ahead of the Hawks, there’s the Cavaliers, Suns and Bulls. I’m willing to bet that at least one of those teams would trade back for the eighth and 10th overall picks.
Atlanta is a team who’s trending upward. I expect them to be a playoff team within the next few seasons. I believe they believe that too. If I’m the Hawks, I would try to trade up in the draft to get the player I like, rather than waiting until picks eight and 10 to get two players who may not be as high on my board.
Atlanta has some really nice pieces in place, but their roster isn’t complete yet. They’re still a team who needs to add as much talent as possible. If a guy they like is there from picks five to seven, it’d be more than worth it for them to move up and get a guy who can be part of their team moving forward.
I’m not saying the Hawks can’t get good players with picks eight and 10. What am saying, is that I think they could get someone better if they use those picks to trade up.